Lalita Patil from Thane, Maharashtra, always wanted to be financially independent. The opportunity presented itself in 2016.

Her husband, who runs a gas agency, faced a decrease in sales, and she realised the need for an additional income.

The now 38-year-old started a home tiffin business by buying tiffin boxes for Rs 2,000 and spent another Rs 500 for advertising.

Lalita named her tiffin service ‘Gharachi Athavan’ (memories of home) and served simple homemade food.

While the going was good, she didn’t like the fact that people still viewed her as a ‘homemaker’. “I was disappointed and wanted to earn the same respect as other working women in the society,” she says.

Wanting to scale the business, she entered a startup contest in 2019, where she won Rs 7 lakh.

She then found a place near Thane station and set up her restaurant with the aim of serving home-cooked food to working professionals and students.

Today, her business clocks an annual revenue close to Rs 1 crore, she says. Her business did so well that her husband quit his job and joined her.

Gharachi Athavan’s menu includes vegetarian and non-vegetarian thalis that come with roti, vegetables, dal and a sweet dish.

This journey has helped Lalita achieve her dreams and has given a much-needed boost to her confidence. “I have become a fearless entrepreneur who knows how to succeed in a business,” she says.